Places to see in Laos
Luang Prabang

"Things to do in Laos, Luang Prabang"

Buddha in Luang Prabang

Places to see in Laos: temple on Phousy mountain

Last updated on April 19, 2012
All information below is subject to change

Luang Prabang is full of activities, sights and attractions!

Many of the attractions are concentrated around the main road: Th Sisavangvong, and that includes museums, theater, art galleries, markets and book shops.

I've limited the list to the ones I visited, including Royal Palace Museum, Royal Theater, a visit to Phousy Mountain and much more.


Other activities and attractions not mentioned in this article:

Novice morning procession

Novice procession in Luang Prabang

Try something new!

Wake up at 5.45 am, get a face wash, put on a sweater and watch a novice procession at 6.00 am.

The monk procession is held every day on Th Sisavangvong, towards Th Sakkarin.

Experience the static and silent atmosphere, and you can even join the line to offer them food.

The novices line up, people set out mats in the street and line up as well. Then the novices walk slowly along the crowd to get food, candies and some throw in money in their jars!

Important that you don't stand too close to the monks (the really old ones) - I got some evil looks from locals and monks because I was standing too close (was trying to take a picture).

A novice working on wood in Luang Prabang

There might also be some local ladies who might try to push sell flowers and candies. Don't think it's for free.

I experienced this during the novice procession in Luang Prabang.

A middle-aged lady just put candies in my hands, then wanted money for it.

I didn't even ask for it,– she just gave it to me.

During the procession, she was awfully impatient and reached out her hand so I would give the money. I was rather confused, and thought it was rude of her to ask it in the middle of the procession - a very important religious event.

Tip: It's better you buy candies or flowers from the stores before the procession, and have it ready when the procession starts.

Watch one of my video clips from the novice procession:

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Royal Ballet Pralak Pralam

Ballet in Luang Prabang, Laos

Admission: $ 10-20

I've never been to a ballet before so it was nice to see traditional colorful costumes and a lot of dancing!

But some acts were lively and fun, and some were not.

I have to admit that we fell asleep during the boring ones, and we were sitting in the front row :-S

When: Every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. The performance starts at 18.00 in the high season, otherwise the show starts at 18.30. A show lasts for one hour.

Where: Next to Royal Palace museum

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Lao Red Cross Sauna & Massage

Lao Red Cross provides Lao massage, or you can give blood. They also have traditional sauna/steambath!

Price massage: $ 5

Try the massage/sauna here for 4 good reasons:

  • Lao Red Cross works with projects to improve the living conditions in the villages. Like: Gravity Fed Water systems
  • Teaching students and Tuk-Tuk drivers in first aid, sexual health issues and "facts for life"
  • Recruiting blood donors to help patients
  • Relief Activities to villagers

So, to cover these projects financially, they need of course money support from outsiders.

I tried the massage and it was OK. For $ 5 you can't exactly expect top-shelf massage. You get what you pay for. Hopefully the money goes to their projects.

Where: Wat Wisunarat

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Royal Palace Museum

Royal Palace was built in 1904. At Royal Palace museum you'll see religious objects on display, as well as silk screens, paintings, Buddha statues and so on. The thing that fascinated me the most was the walls covered with colorful and beautiful murals.

A great place for history buffs!

The place is touristy though. And remember that you're not allowed to enter the building with shoes, you have to cover your shoulders and lock your belongings in a safe before entering.

I was wearing a strappy dress this day, and didn't plan to stop by this museum. After I paid, I went into the locker room.

The local wardrobe-guy pointed at my shoulders, and shaked his head saying:

"Bad, bad...No, No..."

He asked if I had something to cover my shoulders with, and fortunately I had brought a scarf!

Admission: $ 1,25 or 10,000 kip

Opening hours: Every day except Tuesday, from 08.00-11.30 and from 13.30-16.00.

Where: Th Sisavangvong towards the markets. It's hard to miss it.

Recommended time: 45 minutes

PS: No photography is allowed inside!

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Phousy Mountain

View from Phousy mountain in Luang Prabang
Sunday Buddha on Phousy mountain in Luang Prabang, Laos

Places to see in Laos: left: view from Phousy Moutain
right: Sunday Buddha

Climb the mountain and pass a monk village and Buddhas named after the weekdays (Monday Buddha, Saturday Buddha etc.)

You'll see a temple at the top, and a small cave with Buddha's footprint.

But the most important thing...

... is that you'll get to experience the most spectacular view of the Luang Prabang area! Just imagine yourself on the top of a mountain...

On top of that, you'll get a good exercise as you make your way up, trembling on approximately 320 steps! (it felt like a million to me)

The steps to Phousy mountain in Luang Prabang
Novice on Phousy mountain

Places to see in Laos: left: Stairway
right: A nice novice I met on Phousy mountain

Admission: When you're half way up, you have to pay 20,000 Kip.

Where: The entrance is off Th Sisavangvong

Recommended time: 2-3 hours

Do you need a guide: No. Just climb the stairs and follow the path. Eventually you end up on the back side of Phousy Mountain.

Further reading:

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Luang Prabang Attractions

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